Delhi’s Covid admissions, deaths low despite uptick
As many as 70% of the deceased were between 40 and 60 years of age, and a majority were vaccinated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccines, a health official said.
Hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19 infections remain low in Delhi, with an overwhelming majority of patients reporting only mild or moderate symptoms, according to government data and experts, even as the number of new cases has seen a steady rise. (ALSO READ: Delhi reports 980 Covid cases in last 24 hours; positivity rate at 25.98%)
Data also shows that healthy vaccinated adults appear to be largely safe from severe outcomes in the latest outbreak, as those who have succumbed to the disease in recent days have had “severe comorbidities”. (Stay safe: Read Covid new guidelines)
Between April 1 and 11, a total of 14 Covid deaths have been reported in Delhi, official data shows. Out of these 14 patients who died after contracting the virus, 13 had “severe comorbidities” – primarily cancers and kidney diseases, government data shows. Many were already admitted to hospitals for treatment of their primary illness and caught the infection during the course of their stay, officials of the Delhi government’s health department said, declining to be named.
As many as 70% of the deceased were between 40 and 60 years of age, and a majority were vaccinated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccines, a health official said. Except for two people, who were not residents of Delhi, everyone else had taken at least two vaccine doses.
Experts say the latest data appears to highlight and confirm the nature of the Covid-19 outbreak in the post-vaccinated, Omicron world – healthy adults who have been vaccinated (and more so if they have received booster doses) appear to be largely safe from fatalities, which at the moment are only concentrated on people with comorbidities and those who are old.
“The severity of infections is mild, and the period of infection is also less, except for prolonged cough in some people,” the official said. “However, vulnerable people continue to be at risk.”
Only one patient who died of the infection on April 9 was reported as a case where the primary cause of death was Covid-19, according to government records. Since mid-March, when Covid-19 cases started rising in the city, the hospitalisation rate has remained under 2%, according to Delhi’s daily health bulletins.
There were 12 patients admitted in the Covid-19 wards of Lok Nayak Hospital, the largest government-run Covid-19 facility in the city, said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director at the hospital. Out of these, four were on ventilators. “Barring two, all the patients have some kind of pre-existing health condition,” Dr Kumar said.
Dr Kumar also reiterated that healthy adults who are fully vaccinated need not panic as infections among them are largely showing mild to moderate symptoms, where patients are getting better within a matter of weeks, with only some complaining of prolonged cough.
“Mostly patients are coming in with fever, sinusitis, cough and loss of appetite. There are also many who are showing gastric symptoms with Covid.”
Several studies have shown that mortality from Covid-19 was significantly lower in vaccinated people, said Dr GC Khilnani, former professor and head of the department of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and chairperson of PSRI Institute of Pulmonary, Critical care and Sleep Medicine. This, he said, emphasised the value of completing the three recommended doses of vaccination.
“In order to protect our elderly and those with severe comorbidities, it is important for this group of people to avoid going to crowded places, social gatherings, and travel. It is also important that they use masks while going out,” Dr Khilnani said. “Covid is going to be around with us. It is, therefore, important to be vigilant and keep testing as new variants keep coming up.”